A slow-cooked pot roast exists in many cultures. It is simple, comforting and earthy. The South-Asian version, called Pasandey, was a staple in our home. The meat is seared and then slow-cooked in yogurt, raw and caramelized onions, garlic and lots of poppy seeds.
2-3 lb. grass-fed chuck roast
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 med. onion, sliced
1 large onion, chopped
1 tbsp. ground coriander
1 tbsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground cayenne
1 tsp. ground garam masala
1 tbsp black poppy seeds
2 cup yogurt
sea salt to taste
2 – 3 green chilies, chopped
Caramelizing onions should not require a lot of oil and frying. It is a slower process and leads to great flavor when done right. I like to sweat them over medium-high heat (with a splash of water to help the process) in a preheated, dry pan and then mid-way, add a tablespoon of oil to finish the process. This way, the moisture is extracted and the onions get nice brown, instead of burnt, edges.
In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, caramelized onion, raw onions, cumin, coriander, cayenne, garam masala, poppy seeds and salt. Mix well.
- Pat the meat with a paper towel to remove any moisture.
- Slit the meat in several places on top and bottom. Insert garlic slices and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
- Heat a pan with 1 tbsp. olive oil over medium-high heat till shimmering. Sear meat on both sides for 4-5 minutes each side and let rest.
- Transfer half the marinade to a heavy, cast-iron skillet, place the roast on top and then the rest of the marinade to cover it. Turn heat to medium-high till the liquid starts bubbling. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 6-8 hours or till the meat can easily be shredded and the liquid is reduced to a gravy. Shred the roast, mix well and serve.